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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  November 1, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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it's november 1st on "the cycle." it's been exactly 67 hours since superstorm sandy make landfall along the jersey shore. three days later, incredible signs of recovery. even more signs there's a long road ahead. >> i'm stove carneve kornacki. where is the money going to come from? the storm has passed and both candidates are back on the trail. five days to go and the stakes couldn't be higher. time toure. technology's come a long way since tim russert famously wrote florida, florida, florida. but what hasn't changed is the path to victory, making the sunshine state our state of the day. >> all that plus the image emblematic of what barack obama wanted from his presidency. it took four years and an act of god to get it. it's thursday and you're in "the cycle."
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it's another day of slow progress as nearly two dozen states pick up the pieces from sandy. the death toll now stands at more than 80. also rising is the costs. now estimated at north of $60 billion. that's not hard to consider when you look at the incredible damage especially along the new jersey coastline. homes ripped off their foundations. many have simply vanished. carried in full right out to sea. those amazing images continue to pour in. hard to watch and simply hard to believe. nbc's michelle franzen begins our coverage this hour. she's back for us in toms river. michelle is the only reporter to make it into the neighboring community of seaside heights. so tell us, michelle, what you saw there. >> reporter: well, we were there yesterday and also early this morning. and the devastation there is just sort of unbelievable. it plays tricks your eyes when you look at the boardwalk, the place you're used to seeing
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people walking and running. then you look back further and you see that iconic roller coaster, and it's just plopped in the water. that's because sandy, all her wrath, came in and just wiped out that boardwalk from beneath it. and that's just one section, that iconic amusement park, that landmark that people relate to that is damaged. then you've got all the surrounding homes, the beaches, the beachside communities that are linked in that area. and some are hit harder than the others. and that water came all the way right where i'm standing and further inland. and they're just now getting that water that's been receded in that area. and what they've been focusing on the last few days is rescue operations for the hundreds of residents in this beach area community on that barrier island that decided to ride out the storm. and in the days after sandy when they lost power, and today now when they're deciding to shut down gas and it's getting colder
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out. they're deciding to take that ride across that bridge with an escort either from rescue crews and even the national guard that's helping. some of them have family waiting for them on the other end. many others are going to local shelters. we just visited a high school that serves as an evacuation center. and hundreds of people are there so far. the community coming together and really helping out with this. and it's very touching to see, but there's a lot of hard work ahead. and it's going to be some time before residents are let back into their homes and what they will go back to, many of them have lost their homes, and others will be rebuilding for some time. >> michelle, it's toure. we know you've witnessed your share of water rescues over the past couple days, and the water is finally receding, so what's next? >> reporter: well, what's next is, you know, residents -- we're starting the third day since the storm hit, and you've got a lot of tempers that are starting to flare. we witnessed a couple of those
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today where residents are anxious to find out what happened to their home. we've seen that they're not, they feel, getting enough information, the information that they want. and so they're starting to engage public officials here and asking those questions. it's still going to be some time. and the public officials are still dealing with some very serious situations in and around this area. and what we've heard up and down the coast, it's the gas, it's the gas leaks, it's getting to those areas shutting off the gas, securing those areas. and that seems to be a big issue up and down the coast that we're hearing about. and that's certainly the case here. so they have to get all those utilities and basics and safety measures into place before they can even consider letting residents back into their homes. >> all right, nbc's michelle franzen in toms river, thank you. also in new jersey right across the hudson, water rescues continue in the city of hoboken. it's estimated that a quarter of the ground is still submerged.
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at the height of the storm, 8.5 million people were in the dark. that number is now down to about 4 million. about three quarters of those outages are in new york and new jersey alone. mayor bloomberg promising power in lower manhattan will be back by sunday, at the latest. and that's where workers are also pumping water out of mass transit systems which are now back on a limited basis from midtown north. remember, 8 million-plus people each day rely on subways, train buses to get around new york city. speaking of getting around, msnbc's richard lui is in ridge foo ridgefield, new jersey, where the gas lines are long. and even if you can get gas, getting around is a nightmare, especially into the city. talk to us a bit about that. >> reporter: yeah, s.e., you're absolutely right. if you can get gas. he got a call from one of his friends. that's why he got in line for two hours. she has been driving for about 30 minutes. he spent about a quarter of his tank trying to get here to get gas.
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these are the sort of situations we're looking at. this line behind me right here, it is 60 cars long. it goes through two towns. it goes past the city lines. and that's how long people are waiting to get gas. this person is just about to get in there and will be probably be able to fill up her tank about 15 gallons. we've estimated so far here, s.e., that they have seen 300 people come here so far today. he got 9,000 gallons a little bit earlier. that means that he will have enough until about 10:00 p.m. tonight. we're hoping folks like this bringing their gas canisters, that they can get gas. it depends where you go. some gas station owners say hey, you can't get gas because you effectively are cutting in front of everybody else. the good thing behind all this is that senator chuck schumer is saying he's going to open up new york and new jersey ports to allow a big influx of fuel. that will alleviate problems. and then we have an electricity issue which they're saying will be fully restored.
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>> so what are these long lines to general traffic getting around in the area? >> reporter: yeah, let me show you this over here. see these red cones. this is a pretty common sight all throughout new jersey. you'll see these cones put out by police or security. you also see a couple of police cars. there's one or two that's on this location. and the lane on the right's only for those who are getting gas. the lane on the left is open for through traffic. it's been amazingly fairly clear in the streets. what you will see, though, at these gas stations, it's starting to become a little bit more tense. so we, of course, hope that people and calmer minds prevail here. >> indeed. richard lui in ridgefield, new jersey, thank you. one positive, timing of sandy struck right as the new fiscal year was just beginning. that means fema's coffers are full. there's $7 billion congress appropriated for disaster fund, plus another billion left over from 2012. that should last fema through the end of the year, but with sandy expected to cost upwards of $60 billion, the odds are
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that congress is going to have to allocate more this winter. plus, if washington doesn't strike a deal to avoid the sequester cuts january 1st, that fiscal cliff thing, fema will take a $900 million hit. so what does all this mean? nbc's mike viqueira is back at the white house. any word from the white house on this? >> reporter: well, i mean, the short answer to your question, steve, is we don't know. and this may not surprise anybody, but it depends on who the occupant of this building is going to be come january 21st. i mean, there are a couple competing different plans out there. remember, the fiscal year, as you pointed out, always started october the 1st. congress, before leaving town very early to get on the campaign trail, extended one of these continuing resolutions. in other words, they funded the government until the spring at which point they're going to try to come back and do something about it. the president's proposal, his budget proposal, which as everybody knows has not been enacted for a 3% cut to fema, including disaster relief funds. the republican proposal, the nearest thing to it, would pass the house of representatives as
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represented by paul ryan, the chairman of the budget committee, would have across-the-board cuts of about 22% and presumably we don't know for sure, that would include fema. but again, all of the kind of ambiguous at this point, all of it up in the air. they're going to have to come back after the election in a lame-duck session anyway, try to figure out what to do about that fiscal cliff. they would probably fund fema in the interim. republicans are going to insist that any funding of fema over and above what is planned is offset with cuts elsewhere. so basically, we could be looking at the same old story here, steve. >> hey, mike, it's krystal. we know the president's back on the campaign trail, but he and his administration are in constant contact with the fema director, correct? >> reporter: right, we heard from jay carney, we can hear him from 35,000 feet in the briefing room, it is piped in as he briefs a pool back in the press corps back on air force one. he says the president has been in regular contact with the administrator of fema, craig fugate. he talked to him on the phone
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today. the president, in carney's words, trying to ensure the bureaucracy and red tape is kept to a minimum. carney also pointing out that the president is going to be convening conference calls with local officials. the president has declared states of emergency, federal states of emergency, in connecticut, new york and new jersey. and that clears up red tape and also makes certain things available to citizens and local governments, low-interest loans, temporary housing and things of that nature. the white house eager to let us know the president is staying on top of this situation even as he does get back out on the campaign trail. >> mike viqueira, thanks much. campaigning back in full effect after sandy. up next, both obama and romney back on the trail. "time" has special coverage of this newsmaking week for the country. and their michael crowley will join us as "the cycle" rolls on for thursday, november 1st. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about low-cost investing.
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i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state. >> i just want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership and partnership. >> president obama in one of mitt romney's top campaign surrogates getting pretty chummy yesterday in new jersey. the president is still keeping tabs on the post-sandy recovery. with only five days left before the election, he's back in battleground wisconsin. the east coast victims still weighi ining heavily on his min. >> i was out in new jersey yesterday and saw the devastation. you really get a sense of, you
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know, how difficult this is going to be for a lot, a lot of people. >> mitt romney has three events in battleground virginia including this one last hour north of richmond. joining us now is michael crowley, he's the deputy washington bureau chief. >> the storm that hit the atlantic coast did not hit as hard here as it might have, but across other parts of the country, it hit very hard. a lot of people lost their lives. a lot of families have been devastated. >> all right. joining us now is michael crowley, he is the deputy washington bureau chief for "time" magazine. the latest issue has three different covers including one dedicated to sandy victims here in the northeast. michael, i guess we'll start by asking just about the political impact of sandy, obviously, it's an unprecedented event this close to election, impossible to say, but i look at this and i see the news this week with romney's top surrogate, chris christie effusively praising obama's leadership.
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now this afternoon we have news that michael bloomberg who previously said he was not going to endorse in the presidential race has decided to endorse sandy as a reason for doing this. you know, tough to say, but it seems to me there's got to be some political upside in this for obama in terms of the election on tuesday. >> i think you're right. it might be marginal, but, you know, my analysis and i think it's probably yours, i think it's what the data shows is that romney needed one more little push to get over the edge in these closing days. if you look at the electoral map and polling, yes, it's close enough, yes, the ground game may determine what happens, but it seems to me in my analysis romney needed a little bit of a push, and he's definitely not getting a little bit of a push. if anything, i think there's a marginal benefit for the president in these last few days. now, i hate for the election to be decided by last-minute theatrics and a freak of nature occurrence. the issues have been clear for a long time. people have had plenty of information. but i do think for the reasons you just mentioned and also the
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stagecraft, the president in a chopper over the disaster zone with a republican governor in that kind of commander in chief role, it just makes him look good. it's just a blunt psychological reality of it. it's helping him maybe only a little bit, but romney needed a little push. that's my analysis, and he's not getting it right now. >> i think you're totally right, him needing another push. the thing i have been hearing from republicans this week, their claim for what's going to happen is, well, look at the polls, they say. if you look closely among independent voters, romney actually has a big, really big, advantage over obama, double digits in a lot of these polls. and they're saying so there's a mistake in these polls. there's too many democrats and we're all in for a big surprise tuesday. i think that's knocked down by the fact that independents are a broad and seemingly confused term, a lot of people that used to call themselves republicans to pollsters have simply calling themselves independents, but they still act and vote like republicans. so if the independent thing
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isn't what republicans say it is, from your view, what is the best argument at this point for romney suddenly getting that extra push over the last four, five days of this race and winning next tuesday? what's the strongest argument you've heard? >> well, i don't think there is a good argument for him getting a kind of issue push, a kind of free media narrative push. i think at this point, it's that the turnout assumptions that a lot of pollsters are making are wrong. and that republican -- optimistic republican projections about what the electorate are going to look like are more accurate than pollsters who are saying there will be a solid african-american vote, latino vote, different members of the coalition which might not be at 2008 levels but get him where he needs to be, and estimating what the republican turnout will be. that has to be the reality on election day for mitt romney to win. maybe without the storm, if romney had been able to drive some of the stories, i would mention i think this benghazi story got a little bit serious. there's new reporting, new
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documents have been found in that compound that don't look great for the administration, but it's kind of getting blotted out. the free media story is set and over. >> thank you for mentioning benghazi. it's nice to have that addressed at all these days. it really has been a sidelined story. i want to put up that final campaign calendar, if we can, and have you take a look. obama's in ohio four times in five days he's in wisconsin three times, colorado twice, romney's in virginia, wisconsin, ohio, colorado and new hampshire. what can you read, if anything, into these schedules? who's worried about which states? or who's, you know, ignoring other states? what do you make of it? >> well, you know, i did notice that president obama is only going down to florida one time, i believe. >> right. >> so, you know, that's striking. you know, the polling has, i think, generally been slightly pro-romney. so, you know, i don't get the sense that they really think
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that florida is the best place to be spending their time. they might be writing it off. you know, i think it's really interesting to see wisconsin be such a frequent destination. i believe that romney had not gone to wisconsin for a couple, few months until he went last week or a few days ago. he's going back again. the emphasis on wisconsin right now is interesting. and i think it speaks to the idea that although romney is definitely not giving up on ohio by any means, you know, you do get a sense that they are trying to work these contingency plans. how can we do this without ohio? you know, can we get wisconsin and iowa, you know, you guys have been talking about the ad spending they're doing in pennsylvania and michigan, can they pick off these other states? honestly, i think at the end of the day, it comes down to ohio. and obama has a kiconsistent le in the polling there. by the way, something i'd love to know is what is the value of a candidate's appearance in a state? i asked somebody who spends a lot of time crunching numbers, looking at the polls in an analytical way. he said that it's very blurry, but i would just love to know
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how much of a bounce do you really get from a visit to a state? it's kind of a mystery to me. >> yeah. >> michael, i think when you look at obama in '08 and then again in 2012, he seems to have the luck of the irish, once again, a pre-election-day crisis that fits into his themes in '08, obviously the financial crisis made him look cool and calm under pressure. and this time we have a crisis that makes him look like, you know, that highlights his themes of we don't leave anybody behind. government should be there for people had they are most vulnerable. i mean, does this guy have the luck of the irish here or what? >> right. well, he does have some distant irish relatives. >> right. >> right. >> remember that correctly from the other campaign. >> yeah, that's right. >> you know, and yes, and i said that i hate to have seen any voters swayed at the last minute by kind of emotional reasons or, you no he, tv stagecraft, but i think you could fairly make an argument that there's substance behind this. that the role of government to come in and save people, the role of fema, the infrastructure
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that we have are crucial natural priorities and there's some difference between the candidates on that. and it reminds me of katrina, which is to say that i think that, you know, we think of the iraq war as cratering george bush's popularity, but it wasn't until katrina came along. and i think coalesce an argument that people were making which was that, you know, government had become sort of demonized by the bush white house and the republican congress and that we were seeing the potential effects of a government that couldn't respond in an emergency and that there was a substantive basis for that, for saying that we have to have a strong infrastructure. we have to be able to respond on a large scale quickly in a crisis. so i think to your point, yes. i think that is a fair argument to make right now. i think it's a little unfair that people are saying romney basically wants to abolish fema. there's a complicated debate that has a lot to do with sending responsibilities back to the states. i've heard people that romney basically wants to do away with fema. i don't think that's quite right. >> michael, there was a tweet
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yesterday that amused me from @lolgop who by the way everyone should follow. he's hysterical. he said for halloween and the five days that follow, the romney campaign is dressing paul ryan up as rob portman. and then there was a story today in the a.p., apparently ryan's camp is sort of leaking what his post-election plans could be, assuming there was a romney/ryan loss, saying maybe stay in the house, maybe he'd be a professor and write a book. but it did make me think about how this campaign has impacted his reputation on the right. you know, he was this sort of conservative hero, the golden boy who could do no wrong. and i think there was some disapointment had he didn't wipe joe biden in their debate. i think there's also been disappointment that he hasn't been able to get into specifics of budgeting which is what he's known for and he's had to toe the very generic, vague, nonspecific politiciany romney line. how do you think that his reputation has fared through this campaign? >> well, for the reasons that you say, it hasn't been ideal
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for him. my prediction, which is not an assessment of paul ryan's character, just human nature and what happens in politics is that if they lose, the ryan camp is going to say, you know, he was being a good soldier. he was muzzled. we didn't necessarily agree with the strategy. we wanted to let paul be paul. we wanted to unleash him. he wanted to do more powerpoints. he wanted to talk more detail and policy. he wanted to take all the time to fox news to explain the details of the tax plan, but the campaign wouldn't let him. that would be my guess. and i think that he has a lot of good will in the republican party, particularly in the conservative base. he can probably get away with that. by the way, the narrative that is not emerging which i thought was going to be a bigger problem for ryan was, you know, potentially the ryan plan and the medicare, quote, unquote, voucherization was going to kill them in florida, in particular, and really be an electoral loser and demonize the ryan plan, and nobody was going to want to touch that idea again. i don't think that really hasn't yet been a big theme in the campaign. so actually, i think that's good news for ryan and it's something
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that he's not going to have to spend as much time on the defensive about. by the way, if romney loses, i think i said this last time, if romney loses ohio by a half point or a point, there's going to be second-guessing should he have picked rob portman for the political expedience. >> there's going to be second-guessing on a lot of things. >> oh, yeah. >> michael crowley, thanks for joining us. >> thanks, guys. >> it has been a tough week for the country, and obviously our thoughts are with all those who are struggling through the aftermath of sandy. i know on a personal note, my old neighbors in hoboken, i saw my building under water yesterday on television where i used to live, and that was jarring. one great thing about america is being able to laugh about our troubles. jon stewart had this two views of new york that emerged after sandy. >> there's been no electricity after the substation exploded just around there up 14th street. >> al, al, what is that on your
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back, al? >> it's a machete, jon. see, there's two types of folks down here in no-juicetown. people with machetes and dead people without machetes. >> all right, al, we'll come back to you. we're going to go uptown to john. what are things like up there? >> what al was describing, jon, it's a total hellscape up here. for starters, and i don't want to call it a panic, serendipity has run out of mocha sprinkles. which begs the question, jon, where the [ bleep ] is fema when you need them? there to talk. i love you, james. don't you love me? i'm a robot. i know. i know you're a robot! but there's more in you than just circuits and wires! uhhh. (cries) a machine can't give you what a person can. that's why ally has knowledgeable people
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you know, that i said florida, florida, florida. >> the great tim russert on the 2000 election, but the same could be said for 2012. sure, ohio may be the hot state right now, but florida is the real swing state powerhouse. the one with electoral bang to
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make tuesday an early night. for normal people, anyway, i'm sure we'll all be up till the bitter end because we're not normal. take a look, these are the states that john kerry won in 2004. if the president holds on to all of the kerry states, all he has to do is to add florida's 29 electoral college votes, and he gets to 275. even if he lost the diciest of the kerry states, which is new hampshire, the president would still only need florida to get to 271 and win. here's another thing to take a look at. according to nate silver of all the swing states, florida is the swingiest of them all. it's the one where the odds of victory are closest to 50/50. romney is favored slightly with a 57% chance of winning. as all of you loyal viewers know, i just moved florida into the blue column yesterday. what does that nate silver know anyway? who will the sunshine state shine upon tuesday. let's put it through the spine cycle. i went through a lot of my
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reasons yesterday including demographic shifts that are favorable to democrats, increased latino enthusiasm, but the other thing i really want to point to today is the obama campaign early voting turnout machine. a memo was just leaked from palm beach county republican operative who are apparently very concerned. they said that early and absentee turnout is starting to look more troubling. conclusion, the democratic turnout machine in the county has been very effective, and they are cleaning our clock. now, if you look at the early voting numbers, they are not as strong for democrats as they were in 2008. but democrats still have a substantial margin over republicans. and i think that could be the key on election day to just putting florida over the top for the president. >> the interesting thing to think about with florida is in 2008, the national popular vote margin was 7%. if you look at real clear politics average now, we have a dead-even race. republicans have shaved seven points off of barack obama's standing nationally. if you apply that seven points to florida, this would be an
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easy republican win right now because he won in 2008 by fewer than three points. it was 2.8 points. take 7 off that, this is a big romney win. that's not what we're seeing right now. we're seeing a state where romney has a very, very slim lead. what's going on? i think there are two interesting things to focus on. one is the panhandle part of the state. this is where there are a lot of lower-income, noneducated white voters. refer back to the 2008 election, i think we have a graphic that shows it, obama did much better in '08 than kerry in '04. the blue indicates these are areas where obama improved on kerry's performance. of course he improved everywhere except there's this swath from oklahoma up through west virginia, plus deep south areas. if you can see there, the panhandle of florida is one of them. there was a marked drop-off for barack obama from john kerry in the panhandle of florida. what this tells us is that the voters, a certain type of voter that nationally has really turned on obama since 2008 had already turned on him before the 2008 election in florida. so there isn't as much room for
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romney to make progress there. so what romney's counting on is more sort of the tampa area and southwest florida, and that's balanced by the fact that as we said, there's been a remarkable increase in the number of hispanic voters on the rolls since 2008. lots of puerto rican voters coming in in jacksonville, orlando, a growing black population. if that counters the gains romney is making in the tampa area and southwest florida and romney's already maxed out in the panhandle, it's a toss-up. >> one thing that's clear to me is this show needs to get steve a telestrator john madden style. >> i'll take it. >> i am more pessimistic about florida. i don't think it's going to come together. it might be a one-point loss, i think very close. i just don't believe in my heart it's going to come together, despite the go tv edge, despite latinos being underpolled. the thing that scares me most and what chuck todd told us yesterday in his polling is that seniors are -- obama is losing seniors in florida.
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which tells me that conservatives jumped on the third rail of politics, entitlement reform, medicare reform, and will live to tell the tale even if they win florida, even if they lose the election, it doesn't matter, that didn't cost them. so going forward, continue to attack the safety net because it's not a loser. i thought it was a loser. when they first brought in paul ryan and started to make that attack, and it's not. and it it tetells me this will more of an issue going forward. >> of all the battlegrounds, i'm just not that worried about florida. for romney. you know, real clear has him up a couple points. but i think it looks as if the obama campaign is a little nervous about florida, as michael was telling us, you know, they're not going back to florida except once, which may mean that they're kind of writing it off. you have florida democrats asking governor rick scott to extend early voting because i think they know that it's
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working, and they want some more of it. and then just anecdotally, debbie wassermann schultz was apparently out in the streets arguing with a police officer in front of a polling station the other day. >> i wouldn't mess with her. >> no, you shouldn't. it seems like they're a little worried about florida. and again, not based on polling because i know there's polls that say both things. but i feel solid about florida for romney. >> yeah, i'd say they see it not as their most likely easiest path to victory. it's the one that's the furthest down the list. up next, romney says he'll repeal obamacare day one if he's elected president. but straight ahead, meet a conservative who's all for it. and no, i'm not talking about massachusetts governor mitt romney. circa 2005. though that would work, too. first, as we head to break, that "30 rock" clip on florida that he has been begging us to play. >> now, like any penis, florida is very complicated. the cubans the cubans, i had a lot of
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specifics put out on my in miami comedy clubs. >> but central florida is dominated by jewish retirees, serial killers and secretly gay disney princes. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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the mandates worked. if somebody can afford insurance and decides not to buy it, and then they get sick, they ought to pay their own way as opposed to expect government to pay their way. >> politics as far as i understand it, it's supposed to be a battle of ideas and principles. there are supposed to be things democrats and republicans believe in. little annoys me more than when it's smushed in my face and it's really not about principles but about tribes, pushing ideas the way corporations push products. so if the other tribe co-ops your idea, you must turn against it because you're not really for ideas, you're just against that other tribe. take, for example, obamacare. it's based on principles embraced by republicans. in the guest spot today, j.k. klein is a conservative with the
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american enterprise institute who wrote an op-ed for "the new york times" making the conservative case for obamacare. welcome to the show, j.d. >> thank you. good to be here. >> you write in your op-ed, quote, the architecture is based on conservative, not liberal ideas about individual responsibility and the power of market forces. the mandate is about personal responsibility, a hallmark of conservative thought. so why are conservatives against a conservative idea? help me make sense of this. is it just a desire to never do anything to help the president even if it means turning your back on a conservative idea? >> well, yeah, and you said that, i think, in the intro to the piece. if somebody were to be sort of dropped from outer space and introduced to what we refer to now as obamacare, they would see a plan that was essentially putting 30 million people into the commercial health insurance program as we find it today in this country. they would see a plan that requires people to take responsibility for carrying their own health insurance, and for the most part paying for it.
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and it uses market forces to allow people to choose which plan they're ultimately going to reward with their dollars. those are very conservative ideas, and those are ideas that were formulated really not on the left side of the aisle but on the right side by folks who were aghast at what they saw as some fairly massive reengineering of health care around government-centered ideas during the clint. en clinton era. >> j.d., you received a lot of blowback from your colleagues, heritage, ca tchlto, across the board. i want to read a response, "what's surprising is the obvious superficiality of kleinke's arguments. he either doesn't understand obamacare and the conservative case against it, or has willfully distorted his descriptions of both to serve his case. what's your response? >> first of all, i want to state
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something about the culture of think tanks. contrary to what people think especially when they're confr t confronted with information from the other side, think tanks are not these monolithic party organ for one party or the other. they are think tanks. and they involve a lot of differences of opinion. they involve a lot of different approaches whether we're talking brookings or whatever. when you're confronted with information from the other side, you tend to accuse, well, that think tank is really just an echo chamber. >> this is your think tank, this is aei, people at aei. >> you mentioned the others, and we relate to the culture of aei itself. we're dealing with wanting to fix the economy, and there is no right answer. and even within our own health care team at aei, we have a lot of different approaches. some of those, just to speak categorically, some of those are incremental. they're about fixing health care as we find it today. and others are much more broadbrush. let's start over. a couple of our scholars are
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very focused on scrap the whole theme, repeal and replace, very, very systematic sort of control the lead on health care. i'm not one of those folks at aei. i'm one of those folks who is very much focused on let's deal with the plan as we find it. let's deal with the system the way it is. and that's why jim and i have a difference of opinion on this idea. >> you know, j.d., i think the republican response, the conservative response to the affordable care act is symptomatic of something broader. to me it has badly damaged the credibility of the conservative movement over the past few years. that is if the obama presidency, i would say it's moderate. it's been incremental. you look at the health care plan, as you say, which has bee insurance, the rescue of wall street, saved wall street as we know it. the stimulus, national security policies that were held over
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from bush. i could go on and on. the point is this, republicans confronted with an administration that showed time and again they did want to work with them and incorporate some conservative ideas. republicans instead responded by simply saying this is socialism, massive government, a threat to freedom. has the conservative movement destroyed its credibility by responding so hysterically to what has really been a moderate president? >> well, you know, i think both sides are at fault politically here. let's go back to the fact that the health reform plan was passed in 2010. it was before the midterm election. i'll address that in a second. let me talk about the political mistakes made by the obama administration. passing a plan through two houses of congress it controlled, not bothering to garner a single vote from the republicans -- >> but they tried to do that. look at the negotiations with chuck grassley. how many months did those drag on for? olympia snowe said she wouldn't do it because no other republican would. >> they had more time to try and enough was at stake, and the bill is significant enough that they should have made more of an effort because now managing political damage, including the very irony of my piece and why
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i'm here is that they have no political sport. conservatives, yes. and i'll agree with you on the other point. the conservatives have not helped. by abandoning some of these ideas and simply branding this thing a government takeover of health care, which is equally as unhelpful to all of us, hasn't done them a bit of good as well. by even the way they've branded this as obamacare, as if that were pejorative, as if that were a negative shows that there's political disregard and disrespect for the president. and i think that neither side really is blameless in something where we really, really all have a stake in health care working better and to have -- turn this into political football where one side wins all and the other side loses all, the american people lose. >> j.d., thank you very much. up next, a closer look at the voting bloc left out of politics, progressive evangelicals.
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[ whistles ] [ all scream, laugh ] [ male announcer ] yeah, that would be cool. introducing the all-new nissan pathfinder. it's our most innovative pathfinder ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ reverend billy graham once wrote, if you'd have said evangelical in 1957, most people wouldn't know what you were talking about. and then they'd be against it. now the 2 billion christians in the world today, 285 million of them, are evangelicals. 100 million of them living right here in the united states according to "the economist." evangelicals have occupied the white house and could be influential one way or another in this year's election. it's worth pointing out that the first born-again christian-elected president was a democrat, jimmy carter. even though most people associate evangelicalism with the religious right, the often
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ignored story of the evangelical left, says our next guest, is a good reminder that evangelicals are not a monolith and conservatives don't are not a monolith. with us is history professor david schwartz. he's author of "moral minority, the evangelical left in an age of conservatism." >> thank you for having me. >> what happened to those evangelicals and why does the media continue to paint christianity as a right wing, fringy monolith? >> 1976 should have been the moment when the evangelical left oak off. of course, we now know that didn't happen. we had a bible thumping sunday
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school teacher who was promoting moderate to progressive politics. i would say the biggest reason is probably the failed presidency of carter himself. he was dealing with some difficult issues, the recession, an energy crisis, and in the end even the organized evangelical left abandoned him. they were left politically homeless and that had to do with the abortion issue. back in the mid -- i'm sorry? >> go ahead. >> david, to that point, you know, you talk about the evangelical left feeling homeless. i know as a democrat i could never vote for a pro-life candidate. if that's going to be a deal breaker for the evangelical left, how could we ever come together? >> yeah, that's the conundrum. one way to do it is to not focus so much on overturning roe v. wade but instead focus on reducing the number of actual
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abortions. and so, for example, the new evangelical partnership for the common good, one of the most invisible evangelical groups out there right now, they're saying let's provide more care, more contraceptives to keep abortions from needing to happen in the first place. if that happens, they're cal lati clat -- calculating abortion rates could drop 50%. >> is there a generational rift within the church? there's a poll that showed 44% of young evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29 actually support gay marriage and the numbers among older evangelicals are minuscule. so is there sort of a generational rift between these ivevangelicals that focus on th cultural issues and those that focus on the environmental issues you speak of? >> i think you're right.
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there are other numbers that bear that out as well. 60% of young evangelicals support more government programs to help poverty. yeah, i think that's exactly what's going on. >> okay, dave schwartz, sorry, we're late on time today but thanks for coming on. up next, krystal tells us why the sandy response makes her proud to be a democrat. are you ready? time to compare plans and see what's new. you don't have to make changes, but it's good to look. maybe you can find better coverage, save money, or both. and check out the preventive benefits you get after the health care law. ♪ medicare open enrollment. now's the time. visit or call 1-800-medicare. ♪
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this picture was tweeted by the white house and retweeted by governor christie. there's been no image more inspiring, mosh em blet mattic of america at her best than that one of two leaders collaborating without artifice for the greater good.
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as we look forward to the end of this campaign, i can also think of no better image to encapsulate why i'm a democrat and why on tuesday i will without reservation, second thought, or misgivings cast my vote for barack obama. for the determined, unyielding scorched earth hostage taking of the extremists in today's gop it would have been the emblem of his presidency. apparently it takes an act of god to break through the demonization of m president and make us realize that truly we are all in this together. sandy puts a human face on budget cutting talk. republicans proudly brag about the size ever cuts they're willing to make to the budget. they crow about hard choices and hard truths. governor romney has proposed cutting spending to less than 20% of gdp. all that tough talk sounds great until you're facing with the real world consequences of their budget-cutting bluster. try looking into the eyes of people who have lost all their possessions and possibly a loved one and telling them there is no
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help for them because of budget cuts. try telling them the highway that takes them to work will not be rebuilt. try telling them that they are on their own. romney's proposed cuts would hack fema aid by 40%. not to mention what it would do to programs aimed at helping the poorest among us. all while refusing to raise a single penny in extra revenue. hurricane damage is estimated to be $50 billion or more. the entire budget of the state of new jersey in 2012 was just under $30 billion. try telling jersey to fix its own problems on the state and local level. i'm reminded as well of bill clinton and the dnc framing the selection as a choice between we're all in this together and you're on your own. following a crisis we cannot help but be reminded that no matter how justifiably proud we are of our individual initiative and pioneering spirit, there is no avoiding the fact that we share this earth and this land. you can move to the middle of the desert in nevada, ron paul country out there, off the power grid and with your own water well, and when mother nature
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rips the desert in two with an earthquake or washes away your possessions right down to the last flag, it's your fellow citizens who will come to your rescue. try as we might to wall ourselves off, we are truly in this together. i am a democrat because we're in this together. our political debate is not between big government and small government. it's between a democratic party that supports effective government properly funded and based on compromise and gop extremist vision of minimalist government that leaves you on your own and holds low taxes at its only sacred ideal. the words that vaulted barack obama into the national spotlight were about how we're not red states and blue states, but the united states of america. we were hungry for those words and we still are. i believe that we are better when we work together, that we are our brother and our sister's keeper, that good, effective government is possible and necessary, and that'
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